Back in KK


2170 km later we are back in KK and TH hotel. 382 ringit spend on 166 litre of petrol during 31 days.

After this road trip we did not have any more adventures Idea for how to spend our remaining days in Borneo so we made it simple. Enjoying the dance performances in Imago shopping mall and the sunset spotting outside the fish market. And as the finale watching the movie Kong: Skull Island (and after that I have stopped eating squid).


Sunset in Kota Kinabalu

And the car are dropped off at the car rental office at the airport.

From our notes………

Petrol 1: one of the challenges was to calculate how long the petrol would last as all the long distances we drove up the mountains had no petrol station at all. We made it a routine that whenever we passed a petrol station we filled up the gas tank.

Petrol 2: first pay, then fill up the thank. Not always easy to know the exact amount – and going on a long ride you need to have the gas tank full (some petrol station accepts credit card and there it was no problem, fill it up first, then pay)

Parking1: first you park, then you pay. Simple, if you only could find out where to pay. In the parking house, the automat paying machine is not necessarily placed on each floor or close to the exit.

Parking 2: In Sandakan we had parked on the Street, and received a parking fee on our return. But how and where should we pay the 0.80 ringit? Parking guides were walking around we were told, wearing green vest. We never saw any. Then you could also pay at any of the parking kiosk inside city, we never found a kiosk that were open. After several days we gave up and the receptionist at our hotel promised to handle this for us.

Parking 3: Stop the car, and it is considered parked! But when we tried to do the same, less than 5 minutes later we had a parking ticket (and yes, it was not a good parking close to a corner, but at least we did not stop the car in the middle of the road as so many others) of 100 ringit, then we had to figure out how to get to the police station to pay for it

GPS map: most of the time it works well, only a few road junction and roundabouts not updated. But you need internet coverage – and on many of the places in the more remote areas internet coverage was lacking

Printed road map: works also off-line, but the infrastructure is developing faster than the road map industry, and our map was printed 2007 and at least 3 of the roads ( rather big roads) we used did not exist on our map.

Tipping: after tipping at a restaurant in Keningau, first our waitress smiled and said thank you. On our way the rest of the serving staff said thank you and on the outside the chief smiled and said thank you while chopping vegetables and meat.

Kota Kinabalu – our entrance to Sabah (North Borneo)


But first me must depart from KLIA airport, as we did the day after the murder of Kim Jong. We had decided to rent a car in Kota Kinabalu, but as we were unsure of how easy it would be to find our hotel and if it includes free parking we hesitated. It turned out that our hotel (TH hotel) was an excellent choice when you have a car, located between the airport and city centre and it comes with free parking. But on our first days we were tourists as usual. Our hotel provides shuttle bus service to city centrum, just not this day due to maintainance service!h


Where we stayed, TH hotel

So we were walking, and 45 minutes later after passing a sea village, golf course, hospital, shopping/hyper mall we reached the first spot of the water-front. As this was still in the early morning, we had it all to ourselves.

We found Kota Kinabalu (KK) beautiful as long as you don’t look down, then you see all the trash instead of the beauty.


Littering in city center

So, what to do on a nice day in KK? We followed the ”Heritage Trail” marked out on our map, as this passed by any point of interest including the tourist office.

Day two our mission were to rent a car, and after looking around we decided to rent a car for a month instead of two weeks, as the total price was only marginal higher. As we are not much for details planning, having a lot of time sounds great. When the car arrive, it turned out to be both older and in worse shape than promised, but after changing one tyre and removed part of the black sunscreen in the front window we could start driving – and planning our trip. In other words we nedeeed to do some shopping. And at the same time testing how well the gps app in our mobile worked. We headed towards the newest shopping mall, 1Borneo Hyper Mall. We found it, but after two circles around outside the mall we had still not understood how and where to park or found the shopping entrance, so we turned back to the city and one of the older shopping malls. We needed to buy some more internet to our pre-paid phone card, by a map (just in case internet were lacking) and a mobile loader for the car. When this was accomplished we filled up the car with some boxes of drinking water – 36 litre as a start.